2019-03-13 / Front Page

Six Candidates Vie For Walton Village Board

By Patty Wood

From left to right, Jennifer Fay, Stephen Condon, Ed Snow, Nate Jamieson and Eric Ball. Not pictured - Teresa O’Leary Lillian Browne/The Reporter From left to right, Jennifer Fay, Stephen Condon, Ed Snow, Nate Jamieson and Eric Ball. Not pictured - Teresa O’Leary Lillian Browne/The Reporter “Meet the Candidates Night,” sponsored by the Walton Chamber of Commerce was Tuesday, March 5 in the parlour room upstairs at the Walton Theatre. The chamber holds these event whenever an election is scheduled to take place in the village so that its voters will be better informed on election day, which is Tuesday, March 19. About 50 people attended to hear what the candidates said about why they were seeking village offices.

Two, two-year seats on the board of trustee are available. Nathan Jamieson, owner of the Walton Music House, and Eric Ball, who works for Greenslate, a tech company, will challenge incumbent trustee Theresa O’Leary. O’Leary wasn’t able to attend the evening’s event because of a previous commitment.

There is also a one-year trustee seat to fill left by Joe Cetta, who resigned to become the Walton Supervisor after the death last year of Charlie Gregory. Longtime trustee Dave Breese, who is not seeking reelection, stepped in the fill Cetta’s seat. Jennifer Fay filed her petition specifically for the one-year seat, and will be challenged by write-in candidate Mary Phraner for the one-year term.

The candidates started the event with opening statements revealing their experience and reasons for seeking offices.

Mayor Ed Snow gave his military and NYC police backgrounds for background qualifications. He has lived in Walton for 21 years, and was Walton’s mayor from 2005-2011, and then again from 2013 until present. He feels he has more he would like to accomplish in another term. He says there are potential new businesses that have been in touch with him about coming to Walton and he would like to see them through.

Steve Condon, currently a village trustee, would like to be elected mayor. He will continue to pursue new business, he says, and believes with the right people, time and money, Walton can flourish. He worked for The Reporter for 17 years, and the Walton Wastewater Treatment Plant for 15 years. He has been a leader in the Walton Fire Department, holding many offices in his 35 years as a member and is currently president and a captain. His vision for Walton is to have every storefront filled - and all the houses, too. His work experience has allowed him to quickly get up to speed on the village committees. As a trustee, he helps get new projects up and running, such as the playground area of the swimming pool and changing the streets lights to LED to save money. He has the time to “continue to help the community I grew up in.”

Nate Jamieson, a Walton Central School graduate who has lived on the West Coast, has returned to Walton because “This is where I want to be.” He has a natural disposition to volunteer work and has often provided music for local events, such as the Christmas parade and car show. He has participated in theatre in high school, college and locally upon his return to Walton. He is active in his church and wants to see Walton flourish with a greater arts presence. He believes that new businesses should be given a tax break to entice them to come to Walton to live and work.

Eric Ball is also a Walton Central School graduate, and has also returned to Walton after several years living out of the area. When he decided to run for the board seat, he went door-todoor to talk to people about the issues that matter most to them. He has managed a fleet of trucks and feels the experience he had managing that budget will help him with the village budget. He wants to see more transparency; he believes the area’s natural re- sources should be used to help build tourism. He suggests looking into getting public transportation and possibly a Trailways bus stop into Walton. He would like to see the fiber optic infrastructure developed enough to promote more internet-based businesses to consider Walton. He said he chose to run because “people need something to believe in. And to be the voice of people who have been on the sidelines.”

Jennifer Fay moved to Walton 15 years ago after a working as an executive assistant in a telecom company. She was a corrections officer for 11 years and has recently completed her LPN degree and is studying toward her RN at SUNY Delhi. She is a member of Walton Pride committee and a past board member of the Walton Central School. She said she wants to run to be a part of the revitalization of Walton and is tenacious and willing to do the best she can do.

All of the candidates spoke positively about Delaware Street revitalization and finding help for businesses to update storefronts and take pride in the downtown area.

Mayor Snow’s dream is to underground Delaware Street’s power lines and create more onstreet parking.

When asked who why there should be optimism regarding Walton’s future, the candidates agreed that historically, people pull together in adversity. Newcomvers are made to feel welcome when they move to Walton. Young people who have grown up in Walton, are returning to make it their home - opening businesses and raising families. Jamieson cited the many churches, clubs, parks and the historic theater which brings arts to town. Ball mentioned the large population of second homeowners who have chosen Walton for their country getaways and retirement retreats. Fay feels that people feel Walton is safe for raising children. Condon said the town has lots of people who work together and are always willing to help each other.

Snow said, “I’m a cheerleader for Walton because I love it here.”

Each candidate thanked the Walton Chamber of Commerce for the opportunity to share their visions of Walton, and reminded the public to get out and vote.

Voting will take place on Tuesday, March 19 from 12 noon until 9 p.m. at the Walton Village Hall, 21 North Street. To cast ballots for the village of Walton election, you must be a registered voter, 18 years old and you must reside in the village.

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